Late turnover keys 42-35 win over Washington & Lee
With the win, the Colonels improve to 2-0 on the year, while Washington & Lee falls to 2-1. The game was the home-opener for the Colonels and marked the ninth time in the last 11 years Centre has won it's first home contest of the season.
The Generals rushed out to a quick 14-0 lead scoring on each of their first two drives.
The Colonels got a one-yard score from senior running back Jonathan Pinque (Athens, Ala.) in the second quarter to cut the lead to 14-7, but Washington and Lee came right back with another touchdown to make it 21-7.
Centre gained three yards on three plays of its next drive and then attempted a fake punt, but came up three yards short giving the Generals good field position at the Centre 40-yard line.
The defense came up with some big plays. After Brett Murray rushed for 16 yards to the Centre 20, senior defensive end Javod Sewell (Duluth, Ga.) recorded a nine-yard sack. The other senior defensive end, Cooper McGuire (Danville, Ky.) and junior linebacker Michael Bozarth (Mt. Washington, Ky.) then sacked Charlie Westfal on the next play for another loss to give Washington & Lee third and 20 from the Centre 30.
The third down pass fell incomplete and the Generals punted back to the Colonels, who then needed only five plays to go 86 yards, capped off by a 40-yard scoring strike from senior quarterback Tyler Osterman (Monroe, Ohio) to junior wide receiver, and brother, Jason Osterman (Monroe, Ohio).
Leading 21-14, Washington & Lee drove to the Centre 20-yard line at the end of the half and attempted a 37-yard field goal, but it came up short and the score remained 21-14 at the half.
The third quarter saw four touchdowns, two by each team. Junior running back Monte Scotton (Cleveland, Tenn.) scored the first of his four rushing touchdowns on a four-yard rush to cut the lead to 28-21, and then scored again on Centre's next drive, this time from one-yard out to tie the game at 28 apiece.
The Generals scored it's fifth and last touchdown of the game at the end of the third quarter to take a seven-point advantage into the final frame.
On second and six from the Centre 33, Scotton broke free and went 67 yards for his third touchdown of the game to tie the game again, this time at 35-35.
On Washington & Lee's very next drive, Westfal attempted to pitch the ball to his running back, but instead the ball went into the hands of junior linebacker Zach Calhoun (Hamilton, Ohio) giving Centre possession with 9:35 left to play.
Eight plays and 36 yards later, Scotton scored the last of his four touchdowns on a five-yard run to give the Colonels their first lead of the game.
Washington & Lee had only one more possession in the game and went three and out before Centre ran out the clock for the 42-35 victory.
The two teams combined for 891 total yards of offense (W&L 450 - Centre 441), including 620 rushing yards (W&L 338 - Centre 282).
Osterman finished the game 13-22 for 159 yards and one touchdown. Scotton went for 134 yards on the ground with his four scores which ties him for the Centre single-game record for rushing touchdowns in a game. The last player to accomplish that feat was Steve Herron in 1997, which also happened to be against Washington & Lee. Pinque also ran for 100+ yards on the day gaining 131 yards on 20 carries with a score.
Senior linebacker Jared Ferguson (Monroe, Ohio) led six Centre players with at least six tackles in the game. Ferguson tallied 7.5 tackles in the win, while Bozarth, Sewell and senior safety Ryan Gallas (Prospect, Ky.) finished with 6.5 stops each.
Up next for the Colonels is the first Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) game of the year. Centre will host Austin College on Family Weekend Saturday, Sept. 24 at 2:30 p.m. at Farris Stadium in Danville, Ky.